Julia has been freelancing and earning extra money online since about 2015. They have made money doing surveys, website testing, and more.
Are you looking to supplement your income by doing simple work online? The following are five ways I earn extra income. These tasks are relatively simple to pick up, and none of them requires a college degree or even a high school diploma.
1. Take Paid Surveys
I've gotten a few spare dollars here and there doing paid surveys online. Some of them are far more worthwhile than others. I wouldn't recommend trying to make your entire income this way, as it can be quite tedious, but it can be a good way to fill income gaps, especially if your internet isn't stable enough (or your signal isn't strong enough) for other work involving video conferencing. These are my top picks in order of earning potential and effort vs. payout.
- SurveySavvy: This one is great in that you can get a check sent to your house as payment, so you don't have to be paid in gift cards as is the norm with some other survey websites.
- MyPoints: If you want to sign up with my referral link, you'll also get bonus points when you spend $20 (I think it means 20 dollars in points) or more. This has some easy tasks that can net you a few cents, and you get some points for attempting surveys even if you don't qualify. You can get payouts via PayPal or gift cards.
- Ipsos Panel: For this one, the pay is the lowest, but you can receive a check as payment. I think I've earned maybe $50–75 from them in a year.
- Radial Insight: While this one is legitimate, I put it as last on the last because I haven't received any new surveys from them in a long time. When I did get their surveys, they were quick and easy. Just keep in mind they only pay in gift cards—not checks or PayPal. Surveys are super quick and easy and generally pay pretty well.
2. Test Websites
I haven't done as much of this, but I have a couple of resources that I've already been paid for before and that are great to work with. One of them recently started including surveys as well. The work for this is sporadic, but it pays really well.
- TestingTime: Even though the work is sporadic, the tasks are usually easy and pay well, and you get paid quickly and directly via PayPal. I love this website and have made a little less than $100 from them.
- UserTesting: The tests themselves pay very well at about $10 for 20 minutes, but you may have to do a lot of short screening surveys to find one that's a good fit for you. You'll need a webcam and microphone to do this, and it helps to practice explaining your thought process out loud as you navigate websites. You get rated for each survey and are given feedback to help you improve over time. I've only made maybe about $33 dollars from this website. This type of work was great when I had the time for it, but I abandoned it when I found something more consistent.
Upwork did make me some money but not a ton. It's a great way to earn a little bit of income on the side if you can build a good portfolio. You might have to take one or two lower-paying jobs to get the ratings needed to score higher-paying, easy work down the line.
I believe I've clocked about $200 in total sporadically since starting to use this site. Right now, I only go on there when someone has reached out to me for work rather than the other way around.
4. Assess Social Media and Rate SEO
I haven't personally worked for these two, but a friend of mine has. The pay is on the lower end and is contracted, but it is far more consistent. There are two websites that I'd recommend. I know Lionbridge does give you training if you get the job, but I don't know about Appen.
- Lionbridge: They have a variety of remote jobs. This link narrows it down to U.S.-based remote work in English, but you can change the settings however you'd like. I recommend trying for the rater and social-media assessor jobs.
- Appen: This is another one to shoot for. I put this second since I believe some of their jobs require a college degree.
5. Transcribe Audio and Create Closed Captioning
There are a lot of these services out there, and they aren't super well paying jobs. It can be tough to navigate the swarm of scams as well. The best company I've seen for transcription is Rev. The pay is about $1.25 per audio minute, which is a bit more than a minute typing-wise.
Remember that we speak about 6,000–9,000 words per hour on average, but we type perhaps 2,500 words an hour on average. One audio minute may be closer to three or so typing minutes.
With Rev, you can choose between transcription, captioning, and translation work. The pay is more worth it if you have a fast typing speed (60–70+ words per minute). If you're a slow typist, you'll have a harder time making good money doing this.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Liz Westwood from UK on May 08, 2021:
This is a very helpful article. It's interesting to hear how you have found using some of these different income streams.